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OH YES THEY DID: Super Villain Koch Brothers Are Secret Investors in Mega-Successful ‘Wonder Woman’ Movie

Steven Mnuchin brought in the right-wing power brokers, as well as Bill Gates, to help fund such Hollywood projects as ‘Dunkirk’ and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming ‘Ready Player One.’

Tatiana Siegel reports: Though they might be the most reviled figures among Hollywood’s liberal crowd, the Koch brothers have been a silent investor in Warner Bros.‘ slate of movies for four years.

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Sources say Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch — who are worth a combined $96.2 billion and wield enormous power in political circles as major backers of right-wing politicians — took a significant stake valued at tens of millions of dollars in RatPac-Dune Entertainment. Now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought the brothers in as investors as part of a $450 million deal struck in 2013 — a move that was never disclosed because RatPac-Dune is a private company.

Though Mnuchin is no longer involved with the slate financing facility, having recently put his stake into a blind trust in order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Koch brothers continue to be stakeholders in such films as Wonder Woman, Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming Ready Player One.

A RatPac spokesperson didn’t respond to a request. A spokesperson for Koch Industries says, “Charles Koch, David Koch and Koch Industries do not have any involvement with this investment.”

The brothers aren’t the only unlikely billionaires who have sunk money into the Warner Bros. deal. Sources say Mnuchin also brought in Bill Gates for an amount similar to the Koch brothers’. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Charles Koch Interview: Humility, Integrity More Important than Talent 

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On ‘The Kelly File,’ the CEO discusses his upbringing, strategies for building a successful company.

“Success is one of the worst enemies of success, because it tends to breed complacency & lack of humility.”

“I’ve had the philosophy that John Adams expressed… That this is a system for moral people, it will work for no other.”

“If you never fail, then you’re probably not doing very much.”

“I want the power to go back to people making decisions over their own lives, rather than some experts making it.”


[VIDEO] Kelly File Interview: Charles Koch Opens Up About his ‘Classical Liberal’ Views 

On ‘The Kelly File,’ the billionaire addresses attacks from Democrats, motivations behind political involvement.


‘I Am Perhaps The Most Soviet Progressive Member Of The United States Senate’

COLUMBIA, SC - APRIL 25:  Potential Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (R) (I-VT) delivers remarks at the South Carolina Democratic Party state convention April 25, 2015 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sanders joined former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Sen. Lincoln Chafee in speaking to the convention.  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sanders reiterating that voters should review his consistent record as a self-described “Democratic socialist.”

WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., says he can defeat Hillary Stalin-redClinton for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and although he says he respects the former secretary of state, Sanders said it’s time a candidate took on the “corporate establishment.”

“If elected president, I will have a litmus test in terms of my nominee to be a Supreme Court justice. And that nominee will say that we are all going to overturn this disastrous Supreme Court decision on Citizens United…”

Speaking with CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, the Vermont independent said he is likely “the most progressive member of the United States Senate” and reiterated his stance against income inequality, Wall Street greed and billionaires controlling the political process in the U.S.

“In terms of the fact that climate change is threatening the very foundations of our planet, that we need strong and bold leadership… In terms of climate change, I have helped lead the effort against the Keystone Pipeline…”

When asked if Clinton is vulnerable on issues and can be beaten for the Democratic nomination, Sanders said she is, and linked her to the “billionaires” dominating U.S. politics in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling – which he vowed a push to overturn if elected.

“The answer is, yes. And the answer is, because there is, in my view, massive dissatisfaction in this country today with corporate establishment and the greed of stalincorporate America and an incredibly unequal distribution of wealth and income which currently exists,” said Sanders.

Sanders spelled out the ways in which he and Clinton differ, although Sanders said he has known the former secretary of state for 25 years and “I respect her and I admire her.” Sanders criticized her support of the Iraq War as a senator in 2003, her embrace of massive super PAC campaign funding and her refusal to take a serious stance against climate change.

He also ridiculed the President Barack Obama-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, saying that it would be “disastrous” in losing the U.S. millions of jobs overseas. Read the rest of this entry »


Pizza, Tolerance, GOP Dirty Tricks, The Koch Brothers, Left-Wing Paranoia, & Math

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Leland Yee, the Kochs, and the Press

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Jonah Goldberg writes:  Leland Yee, a Democratic state senator and candidate for secretary of state in California, has been a longtime champion of gun control. This week he was arrested on numerous charges, including conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and conspiracy to illegally transport firearms. Yee, a prominent foe of assault weapons, allegedly took bribes to set up a meeting between an undercover agent and an international arms dealer to broker the sale of automatic weapons and shoulder-fired missiles. A lengthy FBI affidavit also describes Yee’s ties to a Chinese triad and his desire to help out Islamist militants.

In short, the story makes for what journalists call “good copy.”

And yet, so far no reporter has raised the possibility that Yee supported tighter restrictions on guns in order to keep gun prices high and his own services in demand. Economist Bruce Yandle popularized the idea of the “Bootleggers and Baptists” coalition. The apocryphal Baptists want to ban alcohol. Bootleggers don’t make much money when liquor can be bought legally at a grocery store or bar. So the bootleggers bankroll the Baptists’ effort to ban booze.

[Jonah’s latest book, The Tyranny of Cliches, is available at Amazon]

Now I sincerely doubt that Yee was that clever. The more likely explanation is that he believes in gun control and he’s a greedy hypocrite (and maybe not too bright either). The fact that gun-control policies are to his advantage is just a happy coincidence.

What’s interesting — and vexing — to me is that this sort of analysis is all the rage when it comes to conservatives and Republicans, and utterly incomprehensible to most journalists when it comes to liberals and Democrats. Read the rest of this entry »